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Holiday Program Helps Anchorage Seniors Struggling With Poverty and Loneliness

With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some Anchorage-area seniors will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That’s why the area Home Instead Senior Care® office has partnered with community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior® program.

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Stacee Frost Kleinsmith, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Anchorage. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.*

With the support of Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, Providence Extended Care Center, Office of Public Advocacy and The Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Services, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program will kick off November 12th and run through December 15th. Christmas trees, which will go up in the Lake Otis Professional & Medical Center (4050 Lake Otis Pkwy, Anchorage) and the Lake Otis Medical Plaza (4100 Lake Otis Pkwy. Suite #302, Anchorage), will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped in a holiday gift bag, along with the ornament attached.  The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say ‘thank you’ to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years,” Kleinsmith said. “Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference,” she added.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call (907) 277-4663.

*U.S. Census Bureau; http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff07.html

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.

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